Sour kraut, Onions, and Potatoes: An Easter Feast of 1864

In April 1864, as Jacob Cox and the Army of the Ohio finalized preparations for the “Atlanta Campaign” in eastern Tennessee, he and his staff had an Easter feast which, to them, was far better than their usual fare.  Maybe we can try it out tomorrow?

Cox described the feast he and his staff enjoyed in a letter to his wife on April 16, 1864:

Yesterday we were gladdened by the arrival of an agent of the Sanitary Commission who brought us some onions, potatoes, & sour kraut ‑ & never were vegetables more wanted or better appreciated.  A good deal of scurvy has been manifested in the incipient stages among our men, & all of us were feeling the need of some change of diet.   For sometime we have had nothing but bacon & flour with occasionally a little rice or white beans.  And as we cannot get flour made into anything but heavy biscuit which I abominate, you may be sure I have not had much luxury in victuals at any rate.

Last night however, we had a regular feast, good boiled potatoes, sliced onions raw, & smoking sour kraut made our stomachs glad. 

Here is an image of what that table might have looked like (minus, of course, the wine, since Cox was an avid teetotaler):


Author: geneofva

Author of "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," and of seven more Civil War books -- with more to come!!

One thought on “Sour kraut, Onions, and Potatoes: An Easter Feast of 1864”

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